Lifestyle changes can help lower your high blood pressure (HBP), according to a recent report.
If you’re diagnosed with stage 1 hypertension (a top number between 130 and 139, you may think you need to start medication. But, there be no reason to so, right away. In fact, a 2017 Johns Hopkins study of more than 400 adults with stage 1 high blood pressure found that combining a low-salt diet with a healthy diet can lower your HBP.
For example, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, plus low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts, lowers blood pressure as much as medication. Similarly, a study presented last year at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting found that people with hypertension who exercised three times a week and ate a healthy diet, lowered their blood pressure on average by 16 mm Hg systolic/ 10 mm Hg diastolic without medication.
It’s also important to limit salt and alcohol, both of which can raise blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends people keep their sodium intake below 1,500 mg a day. Also, limit yourself to one drink a day — that’s about 4 ounces.
LIfestyle Changes: More Important Than You Know
Suffering from high blood pressure affects more than your brain and your heart. It also affects your kidneys. Uncontrolled high blood pressure damages the arteries around the organs, making it harder to deliver enough blood to your kidney tissue.
This means your kidneys aren’t able to get the oxygen and nutrients they need. When that happens, it makes it much harder for your kidneys to filter blood and regulate fluid in your body.
It also makes it more difficult for them to produce the hormone aldosterone, which helps your body regulate blood pressure. As a result, your body gets trapped in a vicious cycle where both your blood pressure and kidney function continue to worsen.